Conquer the Fear of Rejection

by Jul 2, 2018

Confidence Can Conquer the Fear of Rejection

Many salespeople who miss their sales quotas and dread every moment of the selling process are suffering from a fear of rejection. Their supervisors and peers might think they’re lazy or incompetent, when really, they’re terrified of making sales calls because they cannot tolerate rejection.

Overcoming fear has a lot to do with confidence. When salespeople have a positive, optimistic outlook and believe in who they are and what they’re selling, that confidence can conquer the fear of rejection. It all begins in the mind.

Here are seven strategies salespeople can use to conquer a fear of rejection. Notice that they all relate to either building one’s own self-confidence or building others’ confidence in oneself.

  1. Accept that rejection is inevitable. If you choose to be in a sales profession, it’s important to understand that rejection is part of the landscape. In the financial services industry, there is a rule of thumb called “10–3–1.” On average, it takes 10 approaches with prospects to get 3 meetings, and 1 of those will result in a sale. Don’t give up! Experts say you need to “touch” prospects or clients 7 to 13 times to win their trust enough to make a sale. And, according to Microsoft, 89 percent of salespeople have given up by the fourth “touch,” so they convert a dismal number of warm leads into clients.1
  2. Be ultra-prepared. The more prepared you are, the more confident you will feel, and that confidence will outshine your fear. One way to gain confidence is to be ultra-prepared for every potential sales opportunity. Understand and communicate why you do what you do. (Download your RedRock FOMO Statement MakerTM from the Leadership Toobox), listen in every meeting to understand your prospects’ deepest desires and concerns, learn your product or service inside and out and work on anticipating and overcoming objections.
  3. Envision yourself succeeding. If you believe in the Law of Attraction, you know that you are what you think. Don’t indulge in any negative thoughts about yourself. Think in positive terms. Declare that you are a success, and believe it. If you don’t see yourself as a success, how can others?
  4. Practice your sales presentation. Often, we don’t see ourselves as others see us. Ask someone you trust — a mentor, supervisor, peer or friend — to listen to your sales presentation and provide constructive feedback. Ask what you are doing well and what you can improve. Then work on the weakest points. Practice your presentation with someone else or in front of the mirror until you have polished your delivery.
  5. Lose your need for approval. A fear of rejection can result when we put too much emphasis on other people’s opinions of us. Believing in yourself and what you’re selling will lessen the sting of those rejections.
  6. Share testimonials. You don’t have to use other people’s names, but describing how your product or service made someone else’s life easier or saved them money is a powerful sales tool. People find it reassuring.
  7. Stress the downside instead of the upside. Many prospects respond more favorably when you describe the downside of not buying from you than when you tell them the upside of making the purchase. A corollary to this strategy is to find out what problems your prospects want to avoid, and then share how your product or service helps them avoid or solve that problem.

Fear can be debilitating, and it derails countless careers. Encourage your salespeople to tackle their fears at the source — in their minds.

1.Laurie Beasley, “Why It Takes 7 to 13+ Touches to Deliver a Qualified Sales Lead (Part 1),” Online Marketing Institute, October 10, 2013,

Jeff Ruby

Jeff Ruby

Founder of RedRock Leadership

During the course of his professional career, he has worked in organizations ranging in size from a sole practitioner to Fortune 500. Included in his experience are roles in starting and selling companies, sales and sales management, training and development and executive coaching.

RedRock Leadership is a sales training and leadership development company committed to growing companies by growing individuals through on-going training infused with the competencies of emotional intelligence.